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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 15 Hansard (Thursday, 10 December 2009) . . Page.. 5662 ..

(a) providing the Assembly, as a unicameral system of parliament, with the kinds of checks and balances not otherwise available;

(b) preserving and promoting the value of transparency and accountability in the assessment of government decision-making, policy development and legislative processes;

(c) giving constituents “a say” in government decision-making, policy development and legislative processes; and

(d) providing Members of the Assembly with opportunities to engage in in-depth analysis and examination of and seek expert advice about government decisions, policies and legislation; and

(2) unconditionally supports the right of Assembly committees to:

(a) have unfettered access to documents and witnesses relevant to matters being considered;

(b) call for and consider public submissions;

(c) report on their findings and recommendations without fear or favour; and

(d) be entitled to respectful responses from government.

In presenting this motion today, I am reminded of one of my very first experiences in this place. In December 2001, soon after my election, I was appointed to the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment and I became the chair of that committee.

As chair of that committee, I learned one very important lesson very quickly: to ensure that when the then Minister for Planning came to brief the committee on anything, it was important that Hansard was present because there were a number of occasions when he said things that he was never held to account for elsewhere. When later challenged on those comments, he denied that he had said them. It would have been useful to have a Hansard record of what he said.

Eight years on, Mr Assistant Speaker, and Mr Corbell’s contempt for the legitimate committee process of this Assembly remains the same.

Mr Corbell: Point of order—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): Order, Mrs Dunne! Thank you very much, Mr Corbell. Mrs Dunne, I would ask that you withdraw that imputation of the minister.

MRS DUNNE: I withdraw.

Mr Stanhope: We thought this was a serious motion.

MRS DUNNE: It is a serious motion.

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